"Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation" by Joseph N. Abraham, MD; University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press; 304 pages; paperback; $24.95 

Acadiana emergency physician Joseph N. Abraham's new book examines the origins of xenophobia, racism, fascism, intolerance, inhumanity and coercion.

"Right wing populists increasingly draw attention from around the globe, but the attention is misdirected. The real problem is not the authoritarian, but the authoritarian personalities who follow him. If we do not blindly submit to the despot and obey him, he is irrelevant," the author says. "Why do we attach ourselves to demagogues and mountebanks? Why do we defend even their most obvious hypocrisies and lies?"

Abraham asserts that the answer is found in the history of civilization. Despite our romantic traditions, kings and conquerors were not the wise, virtuous leaders that we have imagined. They were the most vicious criminals in the history of humanity, he says.

In 10 chapters, Abraham traces the last 10,000 years, from the era of kings and conquerors; to the modern world and its own ugly truths.

On a positive note, the doctor offers a remedy for the future in his epilogue. 

Abraham, also an evolutionary biologist and Vietnam veteran, lives outside Grand Coteau with his wife and two children. He also writes and publishes the blog Bookscrounger. His book is available on Amazon.